Welcome back everyone. Haven't seen any "new" movies since The Green Hornet, (mostly catching up on Oscar films and television shows) so I've decided to give music a shot.
"The King is Dead". This is the sixth full length album from folky/indie Portland, Oregon based, The Decemberists. Their most previous work before this includes "The Hazard's of Love" from 2009 and 2006's "The Crane Wife" both which seem to tell a story throughout the album. Before these 2 albums there were 3 other full lengths plus a handful of EP's. Each filled with a spectrum of folk based songs from the light and fun to the very dark or even perverted tales. Their styles on these albums were just as broad, from slower acoustic songs such as "The Crane Wife 3" to the heavier grunge influenced "The Island" which sounds like something off of a Pink Floyd or Kansas album(these tracks appear back to back on Crane Wife).
I anticipated this album very highly because, if you haven't figured it out already, I'm a Decemberists fan. So you may think this will be a very biased review but I was prepared to put this album under a microscope. What I found was indeed surprising.
The sound wasn't entirely new, yet it was the most "consistent" album as far as sound and style they have ever released. From the opening harmonica until the very end it's a very light, folky tone that even ventures into the realm of country.
"King" starts with "Don't Carry It All", and before you know it you're nodding your head to the upbeat pace. The album's pace doesn't change until the third song "Rise to Me" which slows the pace down to what sounds like very mellow classic country. The pace doesn't stay there though. It picks right back up in "Rocks in the Box" which reminds me of Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia". This is followed by the beautiful "January Hymn" which features very clean acoustic 'picking'. Next up is the first single off of the album "Down By the Water". It's a nice, catchy tune and the closest thing on the album to a single.
The furthest stray off of the folk/country theme of the album is "Why We Fight", which incorporates other aspects of the band's range. My personal favorite song on the album would be "June Hymn". It has a very slow beginning by an acoustic guitar accompanied by a harmonica, a very Bob Dylan sound that I really like.
The only downfall of the album seems to be the length. At around 40 minutes it leaves you wanting a little more, especially with the band's previous albums being slightly longer. The fact that the sound is not as broad as previous was at first a con, but they perfected this style so much that I just appreciated almost every note and second. I recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard The Decemberists before(as well as their previous works), as well as fellow Decemberists fans. But if you are looking for the slightly heavier, grungy or electric version of the band, you may not like the album. I say give it a shot anyway.
Even Chucky loves the Decemberists!!!!!